Post written by Mark Niblo, Marketing Director at Durvet | Long Distance Runner | Iowa by Birth-Kansas City by Choice
The elections will be over and January will be here before we know it.
When you walk into the local feed store after the first of the year, many will be surprised to find out what is no longer available to use for controlling diseases in farm animals.
When I talk to people that have a have a few chickens, some pigs or a goat hanging around, they tell me that they don’t regularly use a veterinarian. Instead they rely on their local farm and fleet or feed store for all the medicine they need to keep their flocks and herds healthy.
I’ve traveled the country the last few months and I’m convinced that many are going to be taken by surprise by the Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) simply due to the fact they haven’t been paying attention…or they didn’t believe it was really going to happen. Producers aren’t informed because many retailers aren’t up-to-date.
This lack of understanding isn’t just with the OTC segment. I attended a football game at my alma mater in September and sat by a veterinarian from Wisconsin. I started discussing VFD and script changes that were happening in the upcoming months, and he claimed to not know a thing about it. He simply said, “Good, I’ve never understood why anyone should just be able to buy drugs without a veterinarian.”
How is everyone going to handle the increased need for veterinary oversight when many don’t even know what’s happening?
As the shelves in traditional sales outlets start to dry up from commonly used drugs, expect a social media uproar to take place. It will be on us like a tsunami. Those who didn’t know it was coming will want to blame big pharma and the food giants for trying to stop them from producing their own food.
In reality, this is something that has been coming since the FDA started issuing guidelines to the industry on antibiotic use in animals back in 2003. We ignored it like a calm ocean.
If you raise animals at home for food, milk or egg purposes, it would be a good idea to get a game plan in place now. Even if your local store handles script items, you will need veterinary involvement to get water soluble items on drugs also used in human medicine.
Medicated feeds will require a veterinary feed directive for things as basic as CTC crumbles or medicated mineral supplements. The time is now to find a veterinarian you can call if you plan on using antibiotics in water or feed to treat sick animals in 2017.
For those that might want to go ahead and make the switch to all natural-antibiotic-free animals, now is the time to check into substitute products and compounds that are available without a veterinary script.
New products will become available that are based upon probiotics, egg based antibodies, amino acids, as well as oregano and cinnamon. All of these technologies have been used successfully for years to keep animals healthy. Do your research ahead of time to determine what’s best for your operation.
Durvet is committed to providing customers with those new product options. Before the end of the year, new products for poultry will be launched that utilize probiotics and oregano in chickens. Also coming are new products for cattle that contain egg based antibodies that can be used in new born calves.
For those who plan accordingly, it will be smooth. For those who don’t, they might get washed away with the new guidelines.